Dr Zongli Zheng (鄭宗立博士)

PhD (Karolinska)

Assistant Professor

Dr Zongli Zheng

Contact Information

Office: 1A-207, 2/F, Block 1
To Yuen Building
Phone: +852 3442-2199
Fax: +852 3442-0549
Email: zongli.zheng@cityu.edu.hk
Web: CityU Scholars

Research Interests

  • Gene rearrangement in cancer
  • Molecular epidemiology
  • Next generation sequencing
  • CRISPR genome editing
  • Biotechnology

Dr Zongli Zheng received his PhD degree from the Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics at Karolinska Institutet in 2011, under the supervision of Prof. Weimin Ye. He then moved to the United States and did his postdoctoral training under the guidance of Dr John Iafrate at the Department of Pathology, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, and was supported by the Swedish Research Council International Postdoc Fellowship. In July 2015, he joined the Department of Biomedical Sciences at City University of Hong Kong.

Research Interests

Cancer treatment is being revolutionized by the development of targeted therapies that are less toxic and immunotherapies that render durable responses. We have long interests in developing simple and simpler Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) technologies and associated informatics algorithms for Precision Medicine. Some of these innovations and informatics pipelines have been applied in clinics; discovered novel therapeutic targets while serving as robust assays for genetic profiling across various types of clinical samples to guide treatments.

Cell-free nucleic acids shed from solid tumors into the circulation via necrosis or secretion provide a window to identify actionable targets in tumors, to assess treatment response, to monitor drug resistance, to predict recurrence, and to detect early tumors that are destined to be malignant – all in a non-invasive manner – liquid biopsy. We are interested in identifying informative molecules derived from tumors and from reactive T-cells, and to develop simple detection methods, both wet-lab and dry-lab, for liquid biopsy.

CRISPR genome editing is rapidly becoming a powerful tool and widely used across biomedical science. We are interested in characterizing and improving CRISPR editing off-target, an important issue to address towards its clinical applications.

Position Availability

Motivated individuals are welcome to apply to join our research team as research assistants, PhD students and postdoc fellows.

Selected Publications

  • Kleinstiver BP, Pattanayak V, Prew MS, Tsai SQ, Nguyen NT, Zheng Z, Joung JK. High-fidelity CRISPR–Cas9 nucleases with no detectable genome-wide off-target effects. Nature. 2016 Jan 6. doi: 10.1038/nature16526
  • Kleinstiver BP, Prew MS, Tsai SQ, Nguyen NT, Topkar VV, Zheng Z, Joung JK. Broadening the targeting range of Staphylococcus aureus CRISPR-Cas9 by modifying PAM recognition. Nature Biotechnology. 2015 Nov 2. doi: 10.1038/nbt.3404. [Epub ahead of print]
  • Huang J, Löhr JM, Nilsson M, Segersvärd R, Matsson H, Verbeke C, Heuchel R, Kere J, Iafrate AJ, Zheng Z, Ye W. Variant Profiling of Candidate Genes in Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma. Clinical Chemistry. 2015 Nov:61(11):1408-16 (correspondence)
  • Tsai SQ*, Zheng Z*, Nguyen NT, Liebers M, Topkar VV, Thapar V, Wyvekens N, Khayter C, Iafrate AJ, Le LP, Aryee MJ, Joung KJ. Genome-wide off-target mutation profiles of CRISPR-Cas nucleases in human cells. Nature Biotechnology. 2015 Feb;33(2):187-197. (*Contributed equally)
  • Zheng Z, Liebers M, Zhelyazkova B, Cao Y, Panditi D, Lynch KD, Chen J, Robinson HE, Shim HS, Chmielecki J, Pao W, Engelman JA, Iafrate AJ, Le LP. Anchored multiplex PCR for targeted next-generation sequencing. Nature Medicine. 2014 Dec;20(12):1479-84.
  • Shaw A, Ou S, Bang Y, Camidge R, Solomon B, Salgia R, Riely G, Varella-Garcia M, Shapiro G, Costa D, Doebele R, Le L, Zheng Z, Tan W, Stephenson P, Shreeve S, Tye L, Christensen J, Wilner K, Clark J, Iafrate AJ. Crizotinib in ROS1-Rearranged Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer. The New England Journal of Medicine. 2014; 371:1963-1971.
  • Zheng Z, Advani A, Melefors O, Glavas S, Nordstrom H, Ye W, Engstrand L, Andersson AF. Titration-free 454 sequencing using Y adapters. Nature Protocols. 2011, 6(9):1367-1376.
  • Zheng Z, Advani A, Melefors O, Glavas S, Nordstrom H, Ye W, Engstrand L, Andersson AF. Titration-free massively parallel pyrosequencing using trace amounts of starting material. Nucleic acids research. 2010, 38(13):e137.
  • Zheng Z, Margolis KL, Liu S, Tinker LF, Ye W, Women's Health Initiative I. Effects of estrogen with and without progestin and obesity on symptomatic gastroesophageal reflux. Gastroenterology. 2008, 135(1):72-81.
  • Zheng Z, Nordenstedt H, Pedersen NL, Lagergren J, Ye W. Lifestyle factors and risk for symptomatic gastroesophageal reflux in monozygotic twins. Gastroenterology. 2007, 132(1):87-95.